Our room in the Porto Bay has a sweeping view of the Copacabana beach, so it was a good time to relax. We had a late breakfast and I was surprised and happy to see atis fruit (custard apple) on the table, a fruit from my youth in the Philippines -- an auspicious sign about Rio I thought.
As we planned our day, we decided to visit the center of town, which is the historic district. Both our guide and our tour book had said the metro is the safest and best way to get to the Centro, and so we tried it. Their metro system must be relatively new as there are few lines. It was clean and orderly; in fact it was all a breeze. We found the closest metro stop, paid 12 reales for a roundtrip fare for two, and we hopped on the metro. Five quick stops later, we were in the Centro. This was the place where the King of Portugal, Dom Joao VI, took refuge when Napoleon overtook Portugal. The old buildings now stand with the new, and people walking around are also a mixture of tourists and regular office workers. The efficient metro ride and the buildings in the Centro made me feel I was in Europe.
This morning, the main plaza, or Praca, had a section with occupied protestors. This must have just happened because a lot of media people were present. I never got around to asking what it was about, but we saw signs with Monsanto and the USA, and so I'm guessing it had to do with Genetically Modified Food. (I'm not crazy about Monsanto and their Genetically Modified Food - here's a link if you want to read more about this.)
(Why are naked female figures used as supporting columns? - If you have the answer, email me firstname.lastname@example.org)
When we returned to the Copacabana beach, there were a few joggers around -- the weather is simply too chilly for the string and thong bikinis made famous in Rio.
After stepping on the sand -- because one must do that in Rio -- we visited the iconic Copacabana Palace for lunch and to hobnob with Rio's wealthy and beautiful people. (Ha-ha!)
Would you believe it, we ran into the NBA basketball star who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anderson Varejao in the elevator lobby. He was with a number of people, including his girlfriend, Marcelle Bueri.
That's all for now until we do our formal tour of Rio de Janeiro,
- More New Pictures of Manaus &Salvador, Brazil
- Random Pictures of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Blue Dollars and Arbolitos in Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Foz do Iguazu, Mighty Falls of Brazil and Argentina
- Falling in Love with Rio de Janeiro
- NBA Star, Anderson Varejao in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Mariana and Ouro Preto - Colonial Towns in Minas Gerais, Brazil
- The Old Mining Towns of Minas Gerais, Brazil
- Pelourinho Historic District, Salvador, Brazil
- Salvador, Brazil - the Center of Bahian Culture
- Where the Waters Meet - Manaus, Brazil
- The Link to the Amazon - Manaus, Brazil
- Coming Up: Brazil
- Random Travel Pictures - How Great Are Your Works
- Fascinating Faces of the World, photos by Cecilia Brainard